It's 1989. Life's easy for DEBORAH LESLEY: she's up-market, drives her own flash car to school, and looks pretty good too. She's never had a job, either; but now her parents have split up, and she needs the money. JOE GARBARINI is cool. He likes motorbikes, girls, and fun. He doesn't have time for much he's running Heartbreak Café when he's not at school. The Heartbreak Café is a noisy hangout on the north Californian coast. Joe's worked there for years, and knows what it takes. He's sure Debbie won't last a month but Debbie's determined to put up with his wisecracks and prove him wrong. Debbie, Joe and the rest of the gang are all at the Heartbreak Café.
Heartbreak Cafe: No Experience Required is re-published in the UK this month by Ellingstar Media, and to celebrate there's a blog tour that I'm excited to be part of. Thanks to Janet for writing this post for me and I hope you enjoy reading it!
Inspiration for the Heartbreak Café Series
by Janet Quin-Harkin
At the time I wrote these books my daughter was a student at the University of California in Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz is the ultimate beach town—full of surfers, artists, students and drop outs. There were cafes where one could sit and talk for hours on old sofas while someone strummed a guitar, a fierce chess game went on at the next table and an artist sketched the occupants of the room. I loved that feeling of being outside of the real world in a place where time stood still and normal worldly values didn’t matter.
The TV comedy Cheers was big at that time and I remember thinking wouldn’t it be great if there was a hangout like that for teens, where they could escape from the pressure of others’ expectations and just be themselves. And the name Heartbreak Café just came to me as I thought this.
I particularly loved driving to the small nearby town of Capitola and I found a perfect spot for my fictitious café. And of course I create Joe, my bad boy hero as any girl’s fantasy and the complete opposite of my spoiled and protected heroine.
What a great excuse to keep driving down to that beachside town, to watch the waves and the sea-gulls and to come back renewed with more fun ideas for what would happen next to Debbie and Joe.